I am discovering that the promises I make to myself are short-lived. The New Year’s resolutions I make for myself fade to forgotten quickly, while resolutions that I make with others tend to endure. The revelations about what matters to me get shaken by run-of-the-mill doubt.

A few years ago I swore I’d incorporate meditation or at least daily intentions. I also thought I’d gotten the hang of embracing, as John Legend sends, my curves and edges and perfect imperfections. Nope.

At least I am not alone, I tell myself. The arrival of Oprah and her campaign to go Beyond the Scale and the epiphanies of women all around that, my god, if Oprah can’t buy it, sustain it, or master it, who can? I’d like to think that I am beyond some of these perfection grabs, that I have somehow achieved a vantage that offers enduring confidence in my own worth, regardless of what I’ve eaten or the luster of my skin.

Yet still I pledge, promise, and swear to do x, y, or z, the significance of each letter varying wildly based on personal and professional circumstances, time of the month, and latest impossible to avoid headlines.



I wish I could follow all of this up with a tidy moral—do this, get that. Feel this, eliminate that. Eat this…

Wait, maybe that’s really it. Eat the idea that we stop wanting things or that we aren’t measuring up; change the promises that we make, not ourselves.

What if we start making promises to ourselves that we can fulfill.

Take a deep breath before you say yes.

Don’t compare yourself to a magazine cover.

Avoid measuring against a benchmark that isn’t yours.